DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Jennifer B. Lowery
, United States Attorney

Five Guys Shooter Sent to Federal Prison

HOUSTON – A 25-year-old Houston resident has been handed a lengthy federal prison sentence after robbing a Five Guys restaurant and shooting an off-duty law enforcement officer, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Keith Thomas pleaded guilty Sept. 24, 2020, to interference with commerce by robbery and discharging a firearm during or in relation to that robbery.

Today, Chief U.S. District Lee H. Rosenthal handed Thomas an 87-month sentence for the robbery. He also received an additional 120 months for the firearms charge which must be served consecutively to the other prison term imposed. The sentences will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence that detailed the victim’s injuries, continuing impairment and hospital stay. Judge Rosenthal noted that what Thomas did that day was evil and caused extreme trauma to many.

“The men and women of our local law enforcement continue to put themselves in harm’s way each and every day,” said Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “ATF will continue to fight firearms related violent crime alongside our partner agencies and keep our community safe for our neighbors.”

On Oct. 16, 2019, Thomas entered the Five Guys restaurant located at 2902 Shepherd Drive in Houston with a firearm. There, Thomas pointed the weapon at customers and employees and demanded money. He was able to steal cash from the cash register and from patrons.

Prior to exiting the restaurant, Thomas discharged his firearm, striking a Harris County constable who was approaching the door. The officer was off official duty with Harris County Precinct 5, but working security at the location. Thomas then fled the scene.

Law enforcement found a cellphone near the restaurant which was eventually traced to Thomas.

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The Houston Police Department and ATF conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Stotts prosecuted the case.

Houston Field Division